Thursday, October 4, 2012

Khob khun ka (Thank you) Bangkok!

What a rush! A good one at that I must say. 3 weeks in dreamy Paris, then back to reality in Singapore, and before I could get over my jet lag, I'm whisked off away again. This time to Bangkok. Not with Julien, but with my colleagues.

There was a challenge given on this trip based on how much we could do in a quarter, and I managed to hit it before I left for Paris. However, I told my colleagues I was going to give this a pass, since I will be away for three full weeks, and I know I would need time to get over the jet lag before I really started to work again. So, goodbye Bangkok for now. They were still asking me if I'd changed my mind the first Monday I came back, and I still stuck to my convictions then.

Yeah, let them go. You had your fun. I mean three whole weeks! No one's taken that long a holiday. And you do it, oh...what, once a year? Plus you really look like an overstuffed fish cake at the moment in your dresses, with all the weight you put on, you can take a rest on the food department, and that's going to be tough when you're in Bangkok. Spice! I relish at that thought, and realise this really is quite a struggle, plus this trip will be fully sponsored. Oh just give yourself a few more days to think it over, and if the flight's full then, it just isn't meant to be. I listen to my conscience, purse my lips and say no. Trying my best to look convincing as I counted the number of qualified trips I had passed up before - Korea, Bali, and now Bangkok. Wince.

Three days passed in a flash, and come Thursday, the office was buzzing with excitement. They were leaving the next day. I bury myself in sorting out the paperwork from the contracts I had closed the day before, trying my best to block out the buzz.

"So! Still wanna join us?" It's Alex, I recognise his voice. He stands over my desk, casting a huge shadow over my paper covered desk.

"Yes!" My head shoots up. No No No. Shouts my little demon on my left, looking up at me through her glasses like I did something bad. Weeee! Shouts my angel on my right as she does three backflips and lands in a perfect split. Go for it! You deserve it! You qualified for it for crying out loud! It' going to be fun! And you closed a case yesterday. Give yourself a break.
They look across my shoulders to each other and scowl. I shake my head and they both disappear in tiny cotton candied clouds. "Give me one minute. I need to make a phonecall." Hurriedly, I pick up the receiver of my phonee and dial Julien's cellphone number. I glance at my watch. it's 4.30pm. Why is this decision so hard?

There is no answer and I curse under my breath as I hang up. That shadow on my desk is still there. Alex is still there. I close my eyes, and take a deep breath. "Okay! Let's go!" As I lift my head up and force a smile through clenched teeth. My angel does a victory dance, while my demon gives her a scowl before going back to reading her magazine. Minutes later, my ticket is booked. There were still seats. It's meant to be. Coos my angel. So it is. =)


Bangkok  is busy and bustling as usual. Apart from the usual bustling shops, food, and massages, I saw a different side of Bangkok that made me smile. We were taking the tuk tuk (think mini golf cart buggy but on three wheels) back to our hotel, and halfway through the journey, the driver stopped at the side of the road by a service apartment building and asked for our hotel card again. I thought he wanted to get his bearings right, but instead he called out to the security guard at the service apartment who was busy helping to direct the cars out from the service apartment parking to the busy traffic of Bangkok. This guy stopped whatever he was doing, and they started chatting in Thai, smiling. Friends? The security guard then runs into the guardhouse and hands his glasses to the tuk tuk driver. He pulled up on the side of the road to borrow reading glasses?!! The tuk tuk driver puts in on and starts squinting at the map on the hotel card. In minutes, they were charting through the map at the back of the card like explorers. Ignoring the line of helpless drivers trying to inch out from the private service apartment to the crazy booming traffic of Bangkok night streets.Holy Cow! The driver really is lost! Red alert. Red alert. After much speculation, the security shook his head shyly. He doesn't really know exatly where our hotel is. He knows a general direction, but not exactly. Then he bolts back toward the service apartment after saying something to the tuk tuk driver, with the reading glasses. That's it I guess. We ARE lost. And no one knows how to get to our hotel. The next thing I saw really surprised me. This guard, ran up to the line of cars skooting out of the parking and started asking each driver one by one, (I'm assuming) if they knew the way to our hotel. Surely someone would know. True enough, someone did know, and fortunately we had only overshot our hotel by a few hundred metres. Phew! and WOW! He really went out of his way to help! And they're not even friends! I had asked. They were complete strangers, and he loaned him reading glasses as well. Definitely a first for me. This is really cool; what I am witnessing. My colleagues were equally impressed. We were so impressed we tipped the security guard. And happily too. Last thing he did for us, was to stop all four lanes of oncoming traffic to let the tiny tuk tuk skoot on the opposite side of the road to make a U-turn. Oh joy! I made a mental note to myself as we waved goodbye. It's truly the people that make a place.

1 comment:

The Yeti said...

hahaha, you hadn't told me that story of the tuk tuk. Really interesting, Tinker.